CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Terry Abshire in a document produced this week under FOIA explains that the genetically matching sample she had in her lab was not submitted in the initial set ; instead, wasn’t her lab provided genetically matching material in August 2000 for DARPA research in which Dr. Ezzell made a dried powder out of the Ames and gave it to the DARPA researchers?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 6, 2011

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Dr. Ezzell at November 2010 anthrax seminar in DC

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20 Responses to “* Terry Abshire in a document produced this week under FOIA explains that the genetically matching sample she had in her lab was not submitted in the initial set ; instead, wasn’t her lab provided genetically matching material in August 2000 for DARPA research in which Dr. Ezzell made a dried powder out of the Ames and gave it to the DARPA researchers?”

  1. DXer said

    Dr. Majidi, in his e-book, says of the 4 morph analysis:

    “However, for this to work, the FBI needed a comprehensive collection of exemplars.”

    The same scientist who discovered the morphs failed to submit a sample of the Ames from Flask 1029 that she had. Her lab had made a dried powder of Ames supplied by Bruce Ivins — on, it turns out, apparently more than one occasion.

    A perp would have no reason to submit an exemplar surreptitiously obtained.

  2. DXer said

    Ms. Friend testified, in her recently produced civil deposition:

    A. But when they opened that letter, they actually opened it in a Biosafety Level 3 lab, in a class 3 biosafety cabinet, so it was fully enclosed in a gastight, sealed area, and you worked in a glove box to manipulate that.
    Q. Who was involved in analyzing the Leahy letter?
    A. Dr. John Ezzell, Ms. Stephanie Readus and Ms. Candy Jones.
    Q Again, with Dr. Ezzell being the — the kind boss, the lead on that?
    A Yes, sir. And he was, at the time, with DSD? Yes, sir.
    Q. Did you have any further responsibilities with respect to the anthrax investigation?
    A. I was asked to prepare spores for the FBI as reference material to compare to the various powder samples that were found in each letter.
    Q. Okay. (p. 47)

  3. DXer said

    Indeed, it was the FBI’s expert at USAMRIID that didn’t submit the genetically matching Ames in the initial submission.

  4. DXer said

    In Dr. Majidi’s new manuscript attempting to defend the FBI’s investigation of the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings, he disagrees with John Ezzell’s assessment of the anthrax upon his examination of it. Dr. Ezzell had long been the FBI’s anthrax expert — since 1996. Putting scientific issues aside, Dr. Ezzell sure is an impressive public speaker.

    Dr. Majidi’s suggestion that Ames was only stored in Building 1425 was especially clueless given that it was kept in Building 1412 by the FBI’s own anthrax expert — and not submitted to the repository. He does not seem familiar with the case documents and may only have read summaries containing inaccuracies. He should read and come to master the record.

    Amerithrax was the greatest failure in counterintelligence analysis in the history of the United States. Dr. Majidi’s is its banner carrier and is leading the charge in defense.

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  5. DXer said

    Dr, Hugh-Jones, Rosenberg and Jacobsen explain Dr. Ezzell’s research as follows:

    “In the non-military literature it has recently been shown that single, living Bacillus spores can be encapsulated using layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte nanocoating43, and that individual cells, including Bacillus spores, can then be subsequently encapsulated with silica44; the silica encapsulation greatly enhanced viability by protecting the cell from harsh environments.

    By 1999 and thereafter, DOD (Department of Defense) interest in pathogen encapsulation was explicitly spelled out in (unclassified) budget documents for the Biological Warfare Defense program at DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the Chemical/Biological Defense program, which includes Dugway.

    DARPA’s Biological Warfare Defense program was conducting a project, initiated in 1995, to develop a miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometer for rapid detection of a broad spectrum of chemical and biological warfare agents in aerosol form45. Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) took the lead, with critical collaboration from USAMRIID to provide and test pathogens and develop a database of their mass spectral signatures; this work included preparation of both Sterne46 and Ames (inactivated) Bacillus anthracis powders – the latter grown from an RMR 1012 inoculum in late 200047. Dr. John Ezzell of USAMRIID, who acted as the FBI’s scientific advisor on anthrax, speaking from the floor at a seminar on the Amerithrax investigation on Nov. 29, 2010, described his production of (sterile) anthrax spores at that time, commenting that the powders produced in his lab were purer than any of the letter powders48 and that high purity was needed for determining unique mass spectral signatures49,50.”

    Comment: Dr. Ezzell’s presentation was videotaped and has been uploaded to this blog. I think everyone there was very impressed with his forthrightness in fielding and answering questions. Dressed in black, with a distinguished white beard, it was inspiring for him to voluntarily come forward to address the issues. Questions were cut short when a UCLA professor on the panel perceptively discerned physical distress. An ambulance came during break and took him to the hospital. But we all thank JE for his forthrightness and will always wish him the best. The room was filled with admiration for him.

    • DXer said

      I am pictured above asking him the questions. Although there were questions I did not get a chance to ask Dr. Ezzell, there were none I asked that he did not answer. That’s Lew closest to Dr. Ezzell.

  6. DXer said

    Newly released files cloud FBI’s anthrax finding

    By Stephen Engelberg, Greg Gordon – (MCT)

    Jim Gilmore and Mike Wiser ProPublica, McClatchy Newspapers and PBS – (MCT)

    Published: Monday, October 10, 2011

    Updated: Monday, October 10, 2011 15:10

    • William Hirt/MCT
    Bruce Ivins, an Army scientist at Fort Detrick, Md, was branded the killer in the anthrax mailings. He committed suicide soon after. (William Hirt/MCT)

    On Jan. 23, 2002, Ivins gave an FBI agent a detailed tutorial on how to spot morphs in anthrax colonies. He also volunteered the names of two people who had the “knowledge and character” to have prepared and sent the letters while explaining that he’d never worked with powdered anthrax.

    Ivins then showed the agent photos of anthrax morphs, explaining that “DNA sequencing should show the differences in genetics,” which make morphs look different.

    What Ivins appears to have been envisioning was revolutionary. No such experiment had ever been attempted. Such genetic detective work, now commonplace, was in its infancy. Today, this technique is recognized as a precise, but not foolproof, method of identification.

    A few weeks later, Ivins started drawing samples from his flask of Dugway Ames, labeled at Fort Detrick as RMR-1029. Investigators quickly rejected a set of subpoenaed samples because he’d used the wrong-sized test tube. At about the same time, he sent a separate set to a colleague who said she wanted it to compare it with the attack powder. Both were later found to contain the morphs.

    Comment: In February 2002, who was the female colleague to whom he sent a sample so she could compare it to the attack powder? Was that Terry, JE’s assistant? Was the same scientist who with JE had made a dried powder out of Flask 1029? The same scientist who was collecting samples for the FBI repository? The same scientist who had not submitted a sample of virulent Ames from Flask 1029 from the tupperware container in her unlocked refrigerator that she did not submit to the repository? (reasoning that Ivins was already submitting one?) Or was it a different colleague like Pat W.

  7. DXer said

    Top Five Threats to National Security in the Coming Decade
    November 2012
    By Sandra I. Erwin, Stew Magnuson, Dan Parsons and Yasmin Tadjdeh

    “Transparency has been an issue on the federal government’s end. For example, it issued a gag order on federal scientists during the 2001 anthrax attacks.”

    Comment:

    Gag orders make sense in many cases. JE, when he told me in July 2009 that he had made a dried powder out of Ames from Flask 1029, said he was under a gag order and his phone was likely wiretapped, but he was going to tell me anyway. To hear him speak on the subject in person or even on the phone is to know his integrity and forthrightness — he just needs to be interviewed with all the pertinent questions asked.

    I have no doubt he will answer them to the best of his ability. GAO can then make that available pursuant to its own procedure relating to document disclosure.

    But now there also should be the fullest production possible consistent with FOIPA from the FBI on such scientific / forensic issues as testing in Afghanistan, testing of photocopies (that excluded USAMRIID copiers); the work done by Yazid Sufaat and others, the work done on isotope ratios and much more — especially all documents relating to the work at USAMRIID relating to dried powder out of Ames from Flask 1029 prior to the anthrax mailings.

    For example, where did it then go?

  8. DXer said

    The hunt for America’s anthrax killer

    Federal agents took years to finger Army scientist Bruce Ivins as the man behind the attacks

    By Stephen Engelberg, Greg Gordon and Jim Gilmore And Mike Wiser, Vancouver Sun October 24, 2011 2:07 AM

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/hunt+America+anthrax+killer/5596021/story.html#ixzz1bgme4bD6

    John Ezzell, a USAMRIID scientist at the time who assisted the FBI, said in an interview that it was likely that Ivins didn’t think the technology could distinguish among Ames variants. But the record suggests otherwise.

    On Jan. 23, 2002, Ivins gave an FBI agent a detailed tutorial on how to spot morphs in anthrax colonies.

    Ivins then showed the agent photos of anthrax morphs, and told them that “DNA sequencing should show the differences in genetics,” the mutations that make morphs grow differently.

    In suggesting that the FBI use morphs to catch a killer, Ivins was proposing some cutting-edge science. No one had ever attempted to genetically fingerprint morphs, and the researchers advising the FBI weren’t even sure it could be done. Such genetic detective work, now commonplace, was in its infancy. Today, this technique is recognized as a precise, but not foolproof, method of identification.

  9. DXer said

    Terry Abshire was John Ezzell’s assistant. In July 2009, when I called him, Dr. Ezzell told me that he was under a gag order and that the FBI likely was wiretapping his telephone. Dr. John Ezzell was the FBI’s anthrax specialist who first examined the finely powderized anthrax sent to the United Senators Leahy and Daschle. His lab collected the samples.

    John had returned my call from moments earlier. When he called, I was on the other line continuing a message on his answering machine. He confirmed that he made dry powdered anthrax at USAMRIID’s Ft. Detrick for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”). The dried Ames was prepared by Dr. Ezzell in connection with mass spectrometry detection research that explored the effect of a Corona Plasma Discharge and Sonicator on Ames spores. In connection with that DARPA research, budget documents I linked this week show that a microencapsulated powder was used in order to test the ability to strip the microencapsulation away to get an accurate sensor reading.

    Dr. Ezzell explained in a blog in response to my description: “The anthrax spores that my lab prepared for DARPA were dead spores. At no time have I ever prepared live virulent dried spores. Secondly.. the spores I prepared were snow white, ultra pure and were light and “fluffy” where as the spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters were tan, not ultra pure and were different in their physical characteristics. The spores prepared for DARPA were prepared in accordance with all regulations and were to used to test mass spectrometer detectors for biological threat agents. Neither I nor DARPA did anything wrong or illegal in this matter.”

    I agree with Dr. Ezzell and thank him for his candor and forthrightness in coming forward on the issue.

    Before he had his heart attack during the break of the filmed question and answer session on the issue on November 29, 2010 at a conference sponsored by UCLA, I had not had a question to ask him where else aerosol experiments were done. Specifically, where was the microencapsulated powder made? He should be asked that now.

    Beginning in 1996, Dr. Ezzell also worked for the FBI’s Hazardous Materials Response Unit. After coming under suspicion, Dr. Bruce Ivins wrote an email to his colleague and friend Patricia Fellows saying that he had heard that the aerosolized anthrax made by Dr. Ezzell for DARPA was the closest match to the anthrax mailed in Fall 2001 that Dr. Ezzell had examined. David Wilson, in charge of releasing or disclosing such information, worked closely with John and for example was speaking with him under the tent at the special pathogens conference in June 2001 at Annapolis — having a hard time hearing John because of the loud band. An infiltrator sent by Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, Rauf Ahmad, had been attending the special pathogens conferences with Ezzell, Ivins, Friedlander and the others since 1998.

    Dr. Ivins had emailed a superior on December 18, 2006 about what he heard about the FBI at a party. Ivins expressed concern that something might have been taken or altered from his B3 stocks. Ivins was told by email from the superior to not talk about it — that the FBI situation was under control. But it turned out not to be under control. Dr. Ivins’ colleagues were ordered not to talk to him beginning November 2007. He was removed from the base by armed escort in late July. The notes of his first counselor Judith McLean had been given the investigators and prosecutors — and because of a basic lack of investigation, they did not realize that she was the one who admits in a 2009 book on sale at amazon that at the time to having very severe and regular psychotic delusions.

    Escorted off base and his life ruined, Bruce Ivins took his life on July 29, 2008. We now are hearing interviews of AUSA Rachel Lieber talking about how Ivins’ time in the lab was unexplained even though she nowhere in her Investigative Summary mentioned the experiments on which he was working for which he was in the lab — the one involving 52 rabbits being challenged. The FBI removed the key lab notebooks from September and October 2001 and has failed to produce them under FOIA. If the GAO does not force production of all such documents, then it will have failed in its role.

    The case was officially closed in late February 2010. The trail of evidence that should have led Amerithrax investigators to the infiltration of DARPA and US biodefense and withdrawal from Dr. Ivins’ stock dated back to the time of the mailings. It was discernable from “open source” intelligence.

    BUT BECAUSE OF THE CYA INSTINCTS OF THE PROSECUTORS AND INVESTIGATORS –SO VERY COMMON INSIDE THE BELTWAY — THEY DID NOT WANT THE INVESTIGATION TO HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE LAB OF THE SCIENTISTS WORKING FOR THE FBI …. AT THE VERY LEAST IT WOULD HAVE CREATED DIFFICULTIES FOR A PROSECUTOR GIVEN THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST OF THE FBI SCIENTISTS.

    DISCLOSURE OF THE KEY INFORMATION MIGHT HAVE REVEALED THE FBI’S OWN NEGLIGENCE IN ALLOWING THE INFILTRATION.

    THE SCIENTIST WORKING FOR THE FBI COLLECTING SAMPLES DID NOT EVEN SUBMIT FOR TESTING THE AMES THAT SHE KNEW HAD BEEN USED TO MAKE A DRIED POWDER!

    The documents produced show that they did not even obtain the relevant documents until spring 2005, after they had first formed their stupid sorority theory — which is far stupider than even the “Greendale theory” or glovebox in the pond theory relating to Hatfill.

    The 16 pages produced after the FBI latched onto its sorority theory showed that a former associoate of Ayman Zawahiri visited USAMRIID and worked alongside Ivins in the B3 — alongside Pat and Mara too.

    Dr. Ivins expressed alarm that he was not a citizen — and Bruce did not know that until after he arrived — but was nonetheless ordered to proceed in violation of a standing memo on visits by foreign nationals.

    If we have to hear Rachel talk more about unexplained hours while withholding the contemporaneous documents about the experiments involving the dozens of dead rabbits (who were challenged subcutaneously) then investigative reporting is truly dead in this country.

    The CNN report could have been done in August 2008.

    So far judging by its press release it looks like the Frontline report could have been done in September 2008.

    Amerithrax represents the greatest intelligence failure in the history of United States and is continuing because of Rachel Lieber’s and the FBI failure to provide the documents requested under FOIA.

    • Lew Weinstein said

      An excellent summary, DXer, which points directly to the FBI’s incompetent mismanagement of the investigation, which must ultimately be laid at the feet of the boss, FBI Director Mueller. This is especially true of the continued withholding of documents and analysis which goes to disprove the FBI’s case. In a court of law, which the FBI conveniently avoided by accusing a dead man who could not defend himself, this is called the withholding of exculpatory evidence, and is, I believe, against federal and state court rules.

  10. DXer said

    “FBI and the Anthrax Letters”
    http://www.infocusmagazine.org/11.1/biosec_anthrax_letters.html

    “The committee noted that the strength of the connection between the materials in the letters and the flask is limited by the probability that similar genetic mutations can occur independently, and by problems with the repository created by the FBI of samples of B. anthracis Ames gathered from laboratories around the world for comparison with the letter materials. ”

    The scientist collecting the samples for the repository Terry Abshire could not even consistently guess as to when she first acquired the genetically matching Ames sample (with the 4 morphs). She never gave the same answer twice. see uploaded documents. And so isn’t it nonsense for AUSA Rachel Lieber to jump all over variances in Dr. Ivins’ responses to questions put to him over the course of 8 years?

    The FBI then relies on that scientist Terry in developing a theory that Dr. Ivins had acted in a purposely misleading manner.

    Yet it was not Dr. Ivins’ lab that provably made a dried powder. IT WAS THE LAB OF THE SCIENTIST WORKING FOR RACHEL LIEBER AND THE FBI SCIENTISTS THAT MADE A DRIED POWDER OUT OF AMES.

    IT WAS THE FBI SCIENTISTS WHO MADE A DRIED POWDER OUT OF AMES FROM RMR -1029 — ALTHOUGH WE NEVER LEARNED THAT FACT FROM THE FBI AND INSTEAD AUSA RACHEL LIEBER KEPT THAT INFORMATION CONCEALED.

    IT PROVABLY WAS THE FBI THAT CONCEALED THAT ITS SCIENTIST MADE A DRIED POWDER OUT OF RMR-1029.

    THE GAO NEEDS TO PRESS FOR THE JUSTIFICATION FOR KEEPING THAT INFORMATION SECRET.

    what does David Wilson say was the reason it was kept secret and the false denials about dried powder being made were allowed to stand?

    what does Doug Beecher say was the reason it was kept secret and the false denials about dried powder being made were allowed to stand?

    THE FBI IS STILL KEEPING SECRET THAT THE DARPA EXPERTIMENTS USING VIRULENT AMES WERE DONE — TO INCLUDE A MICROENCAPSULATED POWDER.

  11. anonymous said

    Do we really need to rehash Hatfill and the sororties yet again? How about something new? Like a PROPER investigation of the scientific cover-up. There was 10.77% silicon and 0.65% tin in the New York Post sample. The FBI pretend this is not important. Why do they pretend this and why have they spent 10 years hiding this information from the Congress and the public? What dirty or embarrassing secret are they trying to conceal?

    Press Release
    October 5, 2011, 5:36 pm ET
    E-MAIL THIS 0
    FRONTLINE INVESTIGATES THE ANTHRAX MAILINGS

    FRONTLINE Season Premiere
    The Anthrax Files
    Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS
    http://www.pbs.org/frontline/anthrax-files
    http://www.facebook.com/frontlinepbs
    @frontlinepbs

    In the fall of 2001, envelopes carrying deadly anthrax were delivered to U.S. Senate offices, network news divisions, and a tabloid newspaper. Five people were killed, many more infected and the nation was terrorized. Seven years later the largest criminal investigation since 9/11 ended when the prime suspect, Army scientist Bruce Ivins, committed suicide. The FBI insists they found the murderer. But ten years after the attacks new questions are being raised about the FBI’s investigation of the case and whether Ivins really was the anthrax killer.

    In FRONTLINE’s season premiere, The Anthrax Files, airing Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings), FRONTLINE, ProPublica, and McClatchy Newspapers take a hard look at the FBI’s handling of the country’s most notorious act of bioterrorism. After months of investigation, review of more than 27,000 pages of documents, and interviews with central figures in the case—including the head of the FBI’s anthrax task force and the top assistant U.S. Attorney on the case—The Anthrax Files reveals new information that challenges some of the FBI findings and examines how the government attempted to solve the case.

    The film reconstructs the FBI’s first failed attempt to indict a prime suspect. Shortly after the attacks, FBI investigators focused on one man: former Army scientist Stephen Hatfill. Early on, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof identified Hatfill—whom he called “Mr. Z”—as a possible perpetrator of the mailings. FBI Director Robert Mueller and others in the government became convinced that Hatfill was the source of the anthrax.

    “Many people in management, in upper management, were convinced that Dr. Hatfill was the right guy. I mean, it was just very clear. And they were not going to get off this train,” former FBI special agent Brad Garrett tells FRONTLINE.

    For five years the FBI tried and failed to link Hatfill to the attacks. Eventually, he was cleared of suspicion and was paid $5.8 million by the government for invasion of privacy. Under renewed pressure to close the case, Director Mueller named a new head of the investigation, FBI special agent Edward Montooth, who shifted the focus of investigators to the scientific evidence.

    “The mandate was to look at it with fresh eyes and determine is there something that needs to be done with the investigation that hadn’t been completed yet,” Montooth tells FRONTLINE.

    Montooth quickly found a new suspect: Bruce Ivins. A long time anthrax researcher, Ivins came into focus after a genetic analysis seemed to link the attack anthrax to a flask in Ivins’ Army lab.

    As investigators dug into Ivins’ past, they found a string of suspicious behavior: he had spent late nights in a biological “hot suite” just before the attacks, he had a history of psychiatric problems, and investigators believed he attempted to conceal the genetic signature of the flask to throw them off. But when investigators searched Ivins’ home they ran into the same problem they had with Hatfill. They couldn’t find the telltale spores that would have linked Ivins directly to the crime.

    “The smoking guns you would have expected to see if he had been the perpetrator weren’t there,” says the FBI’s genetic consultant Claire Fraser-Liggett.

    The investigation did uncover a darker side of Ivins: he had a shooting range in his basement, had spied on colleagues, and was obsessed with a sorority that had an office near the Princeton, NJ mailbox where the letters were mailed.

    As the pressure from the investigation increased, Ivins took his own life. Only days later, investigators declared they were “firmly convinced” that Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks.

    “It’s not just the science. It’s not just the strange behavior on the part of Dr. Ivins. It’s not just an obsession or two. It’s not just the mailbox. It’s the confluence of all these things taken together,” says assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Lieber. “That’s compelling evidence.”

    But questions about the case continue. Earlier this year, a panel from the National Academy of Sciences raised doubts about the FBI’s scientific conclusions. And many of Ivins’ colleagues insist the FBI got the wrong man.

    “Everybody was very firm and adamant that they were completely off base, that Bruce in no way did this,” says Ivins former supervisor Jeffrey Adamovicz.

    The Anthrax Files is a FRONTLINE production with Kirk Documentary Group, Ltd. The writer and director is Michael Kirk. The producers are Michael Kirk, Jim Gilmore and Mike Wiser. The reporter is Jim Gilmore.

    The series senior producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.

    FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and by Reva and David Logan. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation and by the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation.

    pbs.org/pressroom: Promotional photography can be downloaded from the PBS pressroom.

    Press contact
    Diane Buxton (617) 300-5375 diane_buxton@wgbh.org

    • DXer said

      The hardworking FOIA/webnaster office at USAMRIID has added dates to some uploads so as to discern new material.

      • FBIR 006 redacted.pdf (3939 KB) — Posted: 10/03/2011
      • FBIR 022 redacted.pdf (15213 KB) — Posted: 10/03/2011
      • FBIR 040 redacted.pdf (6422 KB) — Posted: 10/04/2011
      • FBIR 041 redacted.pdf (7813 KB) — Posted: 10/04/2011
      • FBIR 044 Redacted.pdf (16090 KB) — Posted: 10/04/2011
      • FBIR 047 Redacted.pdf (1729 KB) — Posted: 10/04/2011
      • FBIR 049 Redacted.pdf (19851 KB) — Posted: 10/05/2011
      • FBIR 050 redacted.pdf (10702 KB) — Posted: 10/05/2011
      • FBIR 052 Redacted.pdf (29635 KB) — Posted: 10/05/2011
      • QC of RMR 1029.pdf (8008 KB) — Posted: 10/04/2011

      In advocating to get soda out of schools, it took the childhood obesity to create the tidal wave of consensus. In advocating to get benzene out of soda, it took testing by Germany after the FDA refused to do testing.

      By analogy, there likely won’t be clarity in analysis in Amerithrax until if and when a mass attack occurs. Then maybe the DOJ people can see how misguided the failure to produce the documents under FOIA has been (e.g., the lab notebooks they took from USAMRIID from September and October, the email that Bruce wrote to Mara on 9/17 (to show the time) etc. Then a Special Prosecutor can address any issues presented by the withholding of the lab notes and Rachel’s omission in her Amerithrax Summary of any discussion of Ivins’ work with the 52 rabbits that arrived the week of September 24th.

      Maybe then there can be a wikileaks like disclosure that will clear-cut this forest of weird goings-on Rachel perceives that are probative.

  12. DXer said

    On the issue of the 4 morphs, Terry Abshire says that the “Dugway Ames Spores” did NOT look like the mailed anthrax. In an October 2005 interview, she says she got the “Dugway Ames spores” in the past year. Which was it? 2005? 2004? 2003? 2002? … or 2000.

    https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/extremely-important-10032005-fbi-interview-of-terry-abshire/

  13. DXer said

    The 070 sample was taken from Terry Abshire’s supplies. She was Ezzell’s assistant in the DARPA work. In a document written by her produced under FOIA this week (the DC file memo uploaded by Lew yesterday), she explained she can’t recall its origin and is merely guessing it was provided by Bruce sometime in 2003 or 2004 to see if it matched the anthrax strain. In the document above, however, she explains she did not submit in her initial submission in 2002 because it matched what Ivins had (and she is saying she had it in 2002). In fact, In this memo she authored above she now surmises she received it from Ivins in 2002 (in contrast to the 2003 or 2004 reported in the FBI memo).

    Instead, did it instead date to 2000 when her lab was provided genetically matching material in August 2000 for DARPA research in which Dr. Ezzell made a dried powder out of the Ames and gave it to the DARPA researchers?

    Doesn’t this go to the heart of the inventory issues being raised by Plaintiff’s counsel? These researchers don’t remember when they got the genetically matching Ames from Ivins — or why they had it. And so what is this nonsense about the Ames being in Ivins exclusive control? For one, the DARPA researchers making micronencapsulated powder (whoever they are) had it.

    Here genetically matching Ames from RMR-1029 is being used to make dried powder for DARPA detection work — WHICH BUDGET DOCUMENTS SHOW INCLUDED MICROENCAPSULATED POWDER — and yet it was not submitted in February 2002 by the lab that had it…

    and that lab was the scientist collecting samples for the FBI,

    the lab that made a dried powder out of Ames using a lyophlizer (btw, which was in a containment suite, unlike the Ivins lyopholizer which was out in the uncontained hallway)…

    It was that lab that with the FBI’s blessing discarded Bruce’s initial February 2002 sample,

    and that scientist, Terry, then in the memo produced this week under FOIA is saying that it is her understanding that the April 2002 sample was submitted by him even though she says (in the doc produced under FOIA this week) there are no initials by him confirming he prepared it.

    It’s as if the investigators, scientists and prosecutors involved in Amerithrax have no concept of a disqualifying conflict of interest. FBI Director Mueller, I realize that you appreciated the conflict of interest issues early on in the investigation. But your investigators have not discerned how it played out in submissions and evidence.

    • DXer said

      More documents are being produced under FOIA today. CNN just recycled narrative from August 2008 as did the EBAP report and Willman book. If people would give their cut-and-paste function a rest and parse out the new material, we might advance analysis.

      Certainly, Dr. Majidi’s “we’re not going to tell you where the other matching samples” is central to delays in uncovering any missteps in analysis.

      Until the government permits the public to answer basic questions like: where was the DARPA research using Ames and microencapsulated powder done, what lab did Rauf Ahmad and others visit.. etc.

      Those of us who came to see a Hatfill Theory unveiled in all its glory realize how such circumstantial narratives are stitched together.

      The gut instinct of a woman who hated Bruce when she received an email from him — after her research was called akin to “cold fusion” in the Wash Po — won’t count for much.

      Nor will his obsessive focus on the outrageous hazing by those beautiful coeds.

      And the claims by the first counselor — that Mr. Willman and the psychiatrists and Mr. Volz refuse to even acknowledge — will be EXHIBIT A against all those who allowed the false narrative to be told.

      Consider this finally. If you don’t know which woman Ivins felt had wronged him (and that they say he wanted to kill in 2008), then might you be missing part of the story?

    • Lew Weinstein said

      Whatever Director Mueller may have appreciated, he did not manage the most extensive investigation in the history of the FBI, and the only investigation into a bio-terror attack against the U.S., in a fashion that many would call competent. The list of mistakes, investigative directions not explored, and repression of information that should have been made public, is extensive and ongoing. Mueller’s continued assertion that Dr. Ivins was the sole perpetrator, based on nothing beyond flimsy innuendo, is inexplicable and very troubling. If the FBI has more information to prove its case, why has it not been made public? If there is nothing more, then either the FBI does not know who committed the crime or they do know and will not say. Which, pray tell, is worse?

      • DXer said

        I call it competent, for one. These professionals all do top-flight work. Even the psychatrists who did not have the benefit of the counselor’s 2009 book explaining that she was the one having delusions.

        To know the quality of a DOJ attorney, one need only read their superb briefs and know the accomplishments of the attorneys.

        Same with the investigators and scientists.

        As for avoiding conflicts of interest, the FBI/DOJ was quite candid early on in explaining that it was difficult given the small field and limited expertise available.

        As for when I fault this or that person for being unaware of this or that fact, I can assure you that outside observers have read far less and have mastered only a fraction of the same volume of information.

        To disagree with their conclusions is not the same as doubting their high skill level or their good faith.

        No one ever said that solving the crime was going to be easy — or even doable.

        Having said that, I still urge that Amerithrax represents the greatest failure of intelligence analysis in the history of the United States and is directly related to the existential threat now faced by the US.

        I urge that it can be avoided by full and prompt compliance with FOIA.

        If and when the NYC and DC is attacked with anthrax, there will have to be a very intense investigation by a Special Prosecutor of the connection between the failure in analysis in Amerithrax and the attack.

        It’s as if Rachel and Ken don’t play poker so as to know “pot odds” — to know how what is at stake affects assessments of probabilities.

        And this is not the type of issue that one could afford to place your bets based on Judith McLean’s claims about July 2000 or Nancy Haigwood’s gut instinct when she got an emailed greeting — and immediately knew that Bruce (who she hated) was guilty.

        The same prove-guilt-of-the-crime-by-smear-of-character was done with Dr. Berry and Dr. Hatfill. One forged a will. One forged a PhD diploma. With Dr. Ivins, they had to go with him forging a letter to the editor in the early 1980s. But look how far they’ve ridden that horse? Proving just how good they are at making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. (which is a high compliment to any prosecutor).

    • DXer said

      This is an interview of a scientist who had been working on the DARPA research while at USAMRIID; did Joany Jackman leave the remaining Ames from Flask 1029 with Terry Abshire or John Ezzell when she left?

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/his-is-an-interview-of-a-scientist-who-had-been-working-on-the-darpa-research-while-at-usamriid-did-joany-jackman-leave-the-remaining-ames-from-flask-1029-with-terry-abshire-or-john-ezzell-when-she/

      * Terry Abshire says that in addition to her own material, she saw another sample that looked to have the same morphs — a scientist tasked to make certain that USAMRIID’s internal repository contained only pure cultures.

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/terry-abshire-says-that-in-addition-to-her-own-material-she-saw-another-sample-that-looked-to-have-the-same-morphs-a-scientist-tasked-to-make-certain-that-usamriids-internal-repository-contain/

      * The Ames that Dr. Ezzell’s lab used to make the dried powder was from Flask 1029. Was that the only time dried powder was made for the DARPA researchers out of Ames?

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/the-ames-that-dr-ezzells-lab-used-to-make-the-dried-powder-was-from-flask-1029-was-that-the-only-time-dried-powder-was-made-for-the-darpa-researchers-out-of-ames/

      * more about USAMRIID’s dried anthrax powder

      Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 21, 2011

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/more-about-usamriids-dried-anthrax-powder/

      * EXTREMELY IMPORTANT – 10/03/2005 FBI interview of Terry Abshire

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/extremely-important-10032005-fbi-interview-of-terry-abshire/

      * Who in Dr. Ezzell’s lab threw out Ivins’ February 2002 sample which contained the 4 morphs?

      https://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/who-in-dr-ezzells-lab-threw-out-ivins-february-2002-sample-which-contained-the-4-morphs/

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